Intel’s NUC line of computers are known for their compact size, which makes them interesting options for small spaces. They’re often used for digital signage or point-of-sale systems in retail settings, or just as tiny desktop computers in home or office spaces. They’re also popular with folks who want a small media-center computer.

Most NUC systems are not fanless. That’s not a problem if you’re in a noisy store or warehouse. But if you want silent operation, you typically need to buy a third-party case or a computer from a different vendor altogether.

But now Intel is getting ready to offer a brand new fanless NUC.

The Intel NUC8CHK “Chaco Canyon” computer is a 6.1″ x 4.3″ x 1.3″ computer that Intel also calls the Intel NUC 8 Rugged.

It’s not a particularly high-performance computer. The Chaco Canyon NUC is powered by a 6 watt Intel Celeron N3350 quad-core “Apollo Lake” processor and features 4GB of RAM  and 64GB of eMMC storage — both of which are soldered to the motherboard.

But the system should run silently thanks to the lack of moving parts. And if you need more (or faster) storage, there’s an M.2 2280 slot with support for PCIe x4 NVMe or SATA solid state drives.

Other features include a Gigabit Ethernet port, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI ports (1.4 and 2.0), and a headphone jack. There’s also a header for an optional RS-232 port.

While Intel hasn’t officially launched the Chaco Canyon NUC yet, there are several signs that its release is imminent.

First, there are several pages on the Intel website that mention an “Intel NUC8 Rugged Kit NUC8CCHK,” although the documentation itself is still passwrod-protected.

Next, the third-party seller SimplyNUC has posted an unboxing and first look video and promises to begin selling the NUC8CHK soon.

And finally, a post at the Chinese website KoolShare also features a bunch of photos and other details.

This isn’t Intel’s first fanless computer. The company also offered a fanless “Thin Canyon” NUC in 2014. But that Intel Atom E3815-powered computer has been discontinued.

via FanlessTech

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  1. The most common “Fanless PCs” are a different market than expected. That application is for won’t-suffocate-in-factories computers. Whether the dust is conductive or not, fanned computers choke and die in factories with dust. Even when fiberglass, silica, metal grinding, and etc are not a lung hazard to humans, a few years’ time sees fanned computers dead. So these are targeted (and life cycle tested!) for a different environment than a living room. They’re meant to sit next to a 6-axis mill running stepper motors according to instructions, shrugging off occasional oil spray and never inhaling dust. Industrial applications will pay $1000 per unit for a device that won’t suddenly cause downtime (At $50 per hour to $5000 per hour).

  2. How does this compare with the fanless offerings from Zotac, ECS and other OEMs? I guess we’ll need price info too for a better comparison.